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Will we ever know why they did it?

We had to make do with a mad priest who wanted to let the world know that the end was nigh by running on to the Grand Prix track.

Such antics seem diddley-aye quaint when compared to the bizarre actions of twin Swedish sisters on the M6 in England two years ago -- when the 40-year-old women ran into oncoming traffic again and again, even after the police had collared them. And then, days later, one of them stabbed a man to death.

The whole surreal and disturbing story was charted in Madness In The Fast Lane, a programme that left you little the wiser as to just why Ursula and Sabena Eriksson were so feverishly determined to end their lives. And then, in the case of one of them, that of a lonely 54-year old man. But it did make for fascinating viewing.

Knocked

The fact that the horror story on the M6 took place while a BBC crew was filming bobbies on the beat for a new series entitled Motorway Cops meant that there was plenty of raw footage. The sisters being arrested for walking into oncoming traffic, for example. Ursula breaking free and having her legs crushed by a heavy goods vehicle. Sabena being knocked unconscious after throwing herself into the path of a car.

Even then, the girls fought the police, Sabena making it across the M6 divide and into more traffic. She would later survive a 40-foot jump.

It was a somewhat heartbreaking piece of footage, made all the more unsettling when, a few hours later, a smiling Sabena was taken from hospital to be arrested.

We learnt that Sabena had been living in Co Cork (in College Wood, Mallow) with her partner and two children when her twin sister came to visit from America. The two becoming inseparable. Soon after that, they disappeared, the next reported sighting being a coach journey from Liverpool to London. Only the sisters were turfed out along the way. Right by the M6.

All sorts of questions were thrown up about why it was that the girls weren't taken into custody earlier, or how a woman who had tried to commit suicide three times in an hour by running into traffic was allowed back on the streets two days later. She ended up in the home of good Samaritan Glenn Hollinshead, who would die after being stabbed five times.

Two psychologists came up with conflicting diagnoses for Sabena Eriksson's behaviour, and she was certified as being of sound mind during her trial. Given that she has refused to ever explain any of her actions, we may never know what drove the sisters to such acts of madness.

Thanks to the property market collapse, programme makers have realised that it's no longer about location, location, location, but renovation, renovation, renovation.

The real growth market when it comes to homes these days is the DIY trade. And so it was that the bluntly named Help! My House Is Falling Down was born.

Our house supernanny for this new series is Sarah Beeny, ready last night to tackle woodworm, damp, a flooding cellar and a masonry bee invasion. For Sarah, it's all about "Houses in crisis!". And "Homeowners at breaking point". This is, Sarah informs us, "more than just a makeover show". Yep, "it's a full-blown rescue attempt". Yowsa.

Oh, and don't forget all that CSI up-close-and-personal footage of those miniscule little bugs that are hiding in every crevice, in every crack, in every bed.

Coming from the same people who gave us Property Ladder, the message here seems to be that the ladder in question is now needed for those hard-to-reach cracks, leaks and mini-monsters. The result is pure tabloid television. You just know it's all going to end in tears, hugs and candles.

BYRNE'S STARS

Madness in the fast lane ****

Help! My house is falling down **


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